Jet Blue has been eyeing the Rockford Airport for a while now. Local leaders have met with representatives from the discount carrier several times.
"They like the facility, the uncrowded airspace and proximity to Chicago," said Greater Rockford Transportation Coalition President Dave Lindberg.
But the key to landing Jet Blue could be the train tracks. The airline says it would have to draw a lot of passengers Chicago and commuter rail service could help do that.
"There's not a two situation now, but with Jet Blue, Frontier, and even Southwest, then the equation changes dramatically," said Lindberg.
Lindberg says those Chicago passengers also are critical to the future of Rockford's airport.
"To be honest that's what this airport is going to need to go beyond where it's at. We're getting people from the Rock River Valley to support it. We're going to need people from the suburbs and city of Chicago to make it grow," said Lindberg.
Jet Blue is looking for a city to establish a Midwest hub. Lindberg says the airline has ruled out both Chicago airports and the decision could come down to Rockford or Milwaukee.